Besalú - medieval gem

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Besalú is worth a trip just for the bridge but add in the narrow cobbled streets, the two churches and a rare Jewish micvah and you have the perfect day trip destination.There are cafes and restaurants where you can sit outside watching life passing by or wandering around the shops full of local specialities like cured sausages or chocolate pastries.
This was an important trading centre in the Middle Ages and has retained much of its charm by virtue of being perfectly preserved in a mountain setting with a river and the massive fortified bridge dominating everything. If you are coming to Girona to visit a trip to Besalú is a must.


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Sabadell Modernist walk

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Sabadell is a town of 200,000 people just to the north of Barcelona and less than an hours drive from Girona. It has  been an important industrial centre ever since the late 19th century specialising in textiles, metalwork and other building materials like bricks, tiles and glass. To show off their new wealth architects were commissioned to build both residential and industrial projects which reflected the Catalan penchant for Modernism.

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Vilobí d"Onyar- a sunday walk

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Sundays are for exercise and this was certainly the idea when about 1,500 of us converged on the village of Vilobí (12 kms from Girona) for the "marxa popular" which has become an institution locally. These events are organised by local walking groups where as well as marking the route clearly they provide water/oranges/hot chocolate along the way and at the finish give everyone a present and a snack.These are serious events and some people choose to run but most walk and in this case there were a 10km or a longer 15km route to choose from.

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Bescano-Industrial History walk

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Bescano lies along the River Ter 7kms from Girona and the nicest way to get there is via the bike track or "carrilet" which is an easy and scenic ride or walk. If you keep on the bike path you will come to a large factory called the Grober and if you take the next turn to the right you see a beautiful ruin of what was once an impressive house complete with a chapel and gazebo. Passing through an arch on the other side of the house you come to a canal with a restored flour mill next to it, behind which starts a track along the side of the canal.

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Penedes- a wine walk

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Penedes is only just over an hour away from Girona but it feels more like France with impressive wineries (Bodegas) dotted around and vines everywhere. They are better organised than in our local Empordà wine area where wine routes and visits are strictly for those that are well informed and have a good guide (which I am so you will see winery visits here over time.)

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Ogassa-hidden Romanesque gems

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Getting off the paved roads in the mountains above Camprodon and Ripoll is not generally recommended in winter with snow on the ground but if you have the right vehicle (a Land Rover in this case) and good maps it can be the perfect way to discover some hidden gems. As well as seeming to step back into a time when people lived in close proximity to their animals and the way of life revolves around these very animals, weather, seasons and church which is what is so different and appealing about this area.

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Jack Sagel writes about Girona and Costa Brava in his blog GironaJ

Esther Fuldauer is internet manager at the Hotel Savoy and also writes for Costa Brava Today.

The opinions expressed in the articles of this blog are of the authors and may not express the opinion of the Hotel Savoy.

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Hotel Savoy Lloret de Mar

Domenech Carles 8

Fenals - Lloret de Mar


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